Topology Exploration: Purdue

We have been using our dashboards, as well as the MEPHI 3D traceroute visualization tool, to explore our network topology information. As we explored, we have uncovered some interesting network topologies, both in IPv4 and IPv6.

In this example, we will show the interesting topology discovered between Purdue and a number of sites and then drill down on the path from Purdue to FNAL. Geographically, Purdue is not that far from FNAL but the routing we find is very interesting and will need further examination by the Purdue networking team.

You can start with our Traceroute dashboard which provides statistics and visualizations of the traceroute metrics we are gathering.

Traceroute dashboard

Near the top is a Navigation box that will let you get to other resources. We can select the SAND Toolkit Info link, taking us to our “information router” for SAND/OSG/WLCG information:

SAND Toolkit Info

The “Analytics and Dashboards” menu can take us to TRACER, the MEPHI 3D traceroute visualization tool.

Purdue traceroute

As you can see, the traceroute information between Purdue and many other sites–in both IPv4 and IPv6–shows a large number of paths. While this is not necessarily a problem, it deserves some examination to ensure Purdue’s routing is really optimal. The large number of paths to research partners may not be taking advantage of other R&E network paths that might be more stable or shorter.

Shown above are the IPv4 and IPv6 routes from Purdue (pink circles) to FNAL (blue circles). You can see two distinct sets of paths. Those on the right are IPv6 while the large number of paths on the left are IPv4. The large number of IPv4 paths deserves investigation.